||March 24, 2012
Jasmine is convinced she's invincible. The visions she experienced as a child told her so.
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Em and Yves
Visions and dreams. Both rule Jasmine’s life. Convinced by her childhood visions that her soul mate exists and isn’t just a figment of romance novels, Jasmine pursues Victor relentlessly, believing he is “the one.”
Reincarnation. Is it possible? A dream convinces her so. But, the visions and dream promise much more than a lover. They portend danger and a threat to Jasmine’s perfect life. Who was she in that other life? Why is she so sure she is invincible? Will her beliefs lead her into danger?
And Yves? He is the celestial being assigned to watch over her, and to provide the people to protect her. He must experience again the agony of losing the woman he loves to another as Jasmine and her soul mate fulfill their destiny. Will Yves jeopardize his rise to a position of power by going to her on Earth, or will he give up his love?
“Honey, can you talk to me? Please. Talk to me.”
The little girl stared straight ahead, eyes wide, unblinking. In all her years of teaching, Mrs. Craig had never encountered anything like this with a student—this … trance …?
“Sweetheart, come back. Come back.” She rubbed the child’s back; saw the flicker of an eyelid. Thank God. “Sweetheart?”
“Where are they?” the girl asked. She looked around the room and then at her teacher. “Where are they?”
“What babies, sweetie?”
“The babies all in pieces.”
Jaz crawled out of bed. Three in the morning and she wouldn’t sleep now. She was seeing them again—the visions from her childhood. They’d been with her forever, tucked into a back corner of her mind, hovering over her protectively. Now why did she think of them as protective when they were mostly bloody and brutal and harsh and cruel? What happened in those visions was atrocious; she’d known that even as a child, so why hadn’t she been afraid then? Why wasn’t she afraid now? Why did she think of them as a safeguard, a shield? And a shield against what? Those babies in pieces … She shuddered, wrapped her arms around herself and paced.
God, she had to find him—the man she could share this with, the man who would help carry the burden, the man she’d been promised in those dreams.
Perfect heros or regular people manipulated by the gods?
Do you believe in reincarnation? What if your past life and the next was controlled by "powers" with an agenda? These questions floated through my mind as I read EMPOWERED, the second in a series. I had not read the first book in the series, EMBATTLED, so I wondered if this one could stand alone. Yes. The characters are well developed and the author tells a complete story within this book. That doesn't mean the story ends or begins in this volume.
This novel follows Jasmine and Victor as they fall in love and face a great challenge. The author uses a "flashback" technique to give readers insight into all the major characters' past. It's effective and interesting. Readers aren't "told" the things we need to know in a long dry narrative, we're shown parts of the characters' stories. The only exception is the background of the entities that watch and manipulate people on Earth (and other planets) for a special purpose.
At first I thought the two lovers (who were destined to be together) seemed too good to be true. Then I realized they were forced to be perfect by the "powers." From childhood Jasmine and Victor felt compelled to make the world a better place and wait for their soul mates. Is this fair? Well the "powers" do what is necessary to achieve their goals and let puny mortals fight their battles. Who are these powers anyway? Angels? Olympic gods? Alien beings? I guess we need to read the rest of the series to find out--clever of the author to make us wonder.
This book is a blend of romance, adventure, and science fiction. Darlene Jones is a talented writer who makes us wonder if the world can be a better place. I'm sure "powers" manipulate her for their greater purpose but we get to enjoy the result.
Although I had not read the first book in the series, Empowered was a great read on its own. The author did a good job with character development and I never felt I was missing any information. I enjoyed the the twists in the story and the strong female character Jasmine. At first, we think she is a typical blonde rich airhead but find out she is someone quite interesting. Throw in some supernatural reincarnation and you have a very entertaining read. I am a fan of TV shows such as Fringe and Lost so the supernatural aspects struck a positive chord. I look forward to reading Jones' other books in the series.
I give 4.5/5 stars. Highly recommend this book if you like romance, adventure and supernatural thrillers.
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